A Volcano, gardening and camp outs.

On Monday we finished off our volcano model ready to set of at group on Tuesday. We also just did some other painting together and E baked some cakes. Tuesday we had home ed group, we had toys set in blocks of coloured ice to excavate, we also erupted our volcano. The children really enjoyed watching it and playing with dinosaurs in the “lava”. Afterwards we went to enjoy the sunshine and play in the park with our friends.

Volcano


Thursday we set off to meet some home educators at Avon Heath Country Park. It’s always nice to meet new people and we had a great day. E had a fantastic time playing Nerf with a couple of other boys. They disappeared off into the forest, popping back occasionally for a drink or a snack, I barely saw for over 2 hours. R made a friend too, they sat and did makeovers in the park and played together. S and Little S climbed, played, and explored.

Forest fun

On Saturday, the children spent the morning playing, colouring in the sun with friends, and enjoying games at the park. After lunch we invited to join some friends at Compton Abbas Airfield for an icecream and to watch the aeroplanes. On the way home we stopped at the park for a play, we then made the most of a very gorgeous sunny evening and had a BBQ.

Plane

Pond

On Sunday we spent time in the garden, I finished building the children’s fort, we discovered a little visitor in the pond and we filled the paddling pool up. Yesterday we went to Nanny and Granddad’s house, the girls had fun playing with playdoh, E played with his toy soldiers, we played basketball, tennis, golf/hockey and walked the dog. R decided to have a campout in the garden on the trampoline, she managed to stay out until 11 pm when it got quite windy so she came inside. She wants to try again in the summer with her siblings too.

Where my eldest plans to sleep tonight (I think she'll get cold/scared and come in) #camping #garden #trampoline #daughter #unschooling

 

 

 

 

Board games and festivals

This week we’ve spent a lot of time playing various board games, I got some of my old board games out of Granma’s loft too. I’ve taught E to play Othello, which appeals to his strategic mind. The girls have enjoyed playing Yahtzee and Bingo, great for their maths skills. S has also learnt how to play Tic Tac Toe and has been playing that on the chalk board.

Yahtzee

Thursday R had her first piano lesson which she really enjoyed, her teacher showed her some YouTube videos that she can watch to help her. We also got my old keyboard out so she can practice.

Needs a lick of paint
Needs a lick of paint

We are working on a little volcano project at the moment, inspired by this months issue of Whizz Pop Bang science magazine.

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Yesterday was our village festival, unfortunately it rained most of the day. Despite this we managed to have lots of fun. The younger girls made hare bread rolls, we watched a blacksmith making horseshoes, and saw old bikes. After having friends round for dinner we went back to the festival for the evening show. We watched a giant mechanical fire breathing chicken light the beacon and watched a fire performer too. After the show the children had a play with their friends and then it was home to bed.

Fire performer

Today we went to Nanny and Granddad’s for lunch, the little ones requested a little picnic in the garden. S was very excited to lose her first tooth. We played Lego, did colouring, puzzles, and watched tv together. This evening we made the most of the sunshine and the children played in the park. They rolled down the hill, covering themselves with the freshly cut grass, played “stuck in the mud”, a crocodile game and jumped in puddles.

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They’re now all tucked up in bed, hopefully dreaming of all the adventures we can have this week.

My baby is three!

Can you believe my smallest baby is three?! My funny, crazy little pickle is three. Little S is beyond doubt the funny one of the bunch, she is totally bonkers. She loves to pretend she is a dog, she sniffs my visitors, licks everyone, barks and loves to crawl around with a make shift lead around her waist. She loves mayonnaise and could easily sit and eat a whole jar. She also love fruit and salad, and is partial to a little chocolate.

crazy

She can be incredibly sweet, giving great big cuddles and kisses. Her favourite person in the whole world is her big sister, S. She loves cute animals and squeals “Awww, coot” whenever she sees one. She enjoys dancing around the kitchen to whatever music makes her feet move.

Little S

Her giggle is contagious and fills a whole room. She’s a determined little soul, who knows what she wants. She can be a major monkey, getting up to all sorts of mischief, often with her sister by her side. She loves to climb, and could scale window ledges and furniture before she could even crawl.

bluebellsShe likes to help whether in the garden or the kitchen, “Me do it” is a common sound. She is a beautiful girl inside and out, and an absolute blessing to have.

Archaeology club and the stone age

Today R had a trip with Archaeology club to Stonehenge, I was fortunate enough to be able to stay and join in. We started off by looking around the replica stone age cob houses. We learned about stone age tools and pots, we discussed the design of the houses and why there was no hole in the roof above the fire pit. The children were able to try grinding wheat stone age style to make flour, and make rope out of reeds.


Grinding wheatNext we went outside and learned in pairs how to make chalk cob walls after weaving hazel structures. This was R’s favourite activity and she got rather messy doing it!

Making cob walls

After a picnic lunch break we took a walk in the sunshine over to the stones. We heard some common myths and legends about how the stones came to be. We listened to the sounds we could hear and talked about how it would have been different 4000 years ago. We took the bus back to the visitor centre and said our goodbyes.

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The rest of the afternoon will be spent playing outside with friends in the sunshine.

Friends and Romans


On Tuesday a group of us met at a new hall, it was a gorgeous hall with an amazing play park and sports ground. The children had a whale of a time, they started off with a Nerf war that not even the rain could dampen. R enjoyed joining in with a group picture, whilst Little S enjoyed playing in the sandpit.

Sandpit E enjoyed some time with a small group of other boys playing on their tablets together. All the children from toddler to teen enjoyed free play, socialisation, and natural learning.

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Yesterday I took the children to see Granma, we had lunch together and played. The smaller girls played hide and seek with Maisy dog, hiding her treats around the garden so she could smell and find them.

Me dressed as a Roman by R
Me dressed as a Roman by R

This morning we went a Roman villa, we pieced together broken pottery, dressed up as Romans, built Lego villas, battled as soldiers, and looked around the villa. We got a surprising amount done during a relatively short visit. Afterwards we came home, had lunch, did a spot of gardening and took the dog for a walk.

Pictures by E aged 6
Pictures by E aged 6

We’ve had a lovely few days learning and enjoying it.

All about S

 

beautyFive years ago today I gave birth to my beautiful S, of all my children she was the only surprise baby but she has brought me so much joy. She is a bundle of sunshine wrapped in giggles. She has a fiesty side too and knows her mind. She loves to help others and is so very sweet and caring.

doodlebug

She loves cooking and gardening, knowing the names of most of the plants in our garden. Her favourite game is playing mummies and daddies. She adores animals especially our guinea pigs Max and Nibbles, and our dog Poppy.

5 years old

She loves rainbows, and pretty things. She likes to wear pretty dresses even when she’s climbing trees or rolling down hills. She loves being outside, like a little forest fairy. She has beautiful long blonde wavy hair, pale blue eyes and skin that turns golden brown at the sight of the sun.

bluebells

She is just like the poem, sugar and spice, and all things nice. She truly is my little sunshine.

 

 

The sun is finally shining!


Just a few days ago we had snow and now we have glorious sunshine! We’re enjoying being outside as much as we can, but I have been really bad at taking any photographs, we’ve just been too busy enjoying ourselves in the sun. On Wednesday we spent a couple of hours with some home ed friends at park we’ve not been to before. It was really lovely, S was particularly pleased with herself as she managed to climb to the top of the climbing web. In the afternoon the children went bug hunting with friends, collecting as many different types as they could find.

Thursday the girls and I went to Morrison’s to buy party food for Saturday. It was a really pleasant experience, the girls were all really helpful and enjoyed choosing food, drinks and treats. E stayed at home with Daddy to play. The girls spent the afternoon in the paddling pool.

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On Friday I started the day with a game of Junior Monopoly with S, she was the banker for the first time and beat me by £29. We spent time learning about dinosaurs and fossils, and made some fossils of our own. We also had great fun launching a sodium bicarbonate rocket into the air. I took E over to Granma and Granpa’s for a sleepover and had a quick cup of tea whilst I was there. Friday was also mine and Daddy’s 10th wedding anniversary.

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Saturday we had a big party planned to celebrate our anniversary, we were up early to set the hall up and wait for the bouncy castle to be delivered. The rest of the morning was spent making food, the girls made jelly, cheese and pineapple on sticks, and iced the cake. The afternoon was a great success, the children (and me!) all had great fun on the bouncy castle. We all went home exhausted.

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Today was beautiful and very warm, we took the children and a friend of R’s to a play park with a splash park and next to a river. Poppy came too and had a little walk with Daddy whilst the children played and splashed. We all enjoyed a cooling ice lolly before heading home where the children and neighbours had a water fight. We also enjoyed our first BBQ of the year.

 

Going self hosted

You may have noticed some changes to my blog recently especially those reading from a PC. The reason is I’ve recently gone self hosted, something I was really worried about doing as I’d looked into it and it all seemed so confusing.  Selecting a host, moving my old blog posts over, where was I even supposed to start? When I saw an advert offering free self hosting in return for a review I thought “excellent” and they offered to migrate everything for me.

I have to say going self hosted was all very simple, I filled in my details and the address of my WordPress blog, made them admin, temporarily, and they did the rest for me. I was sent easy to understand instructions for anything I needed to do, and if I came across a problem whilst moving (like not being able to get my password to work) they got back to me straight away. The migration process was so simple.

Since moving over I’ve had no problems at all and I feel confident that help is there should I need it. When my free hosting runs out the cost is very low and great value for money.

  • Bloggers package currently priced at £3.99 per month.
  • Get 2 months free when buying for a year at £49.90 saying 17% (equivalent to £3.33 per month).
  • Get 6 months free when you pay for 2 years at £71.82 saving 25% (equivalent to £2.99 per month)

self hosted

Some of the great features include

  • Easy and affordable web hosting
    • A package targeted and optimised for bloggers and another targeted at entrepreneurs and small businesses
  • Optimised for performance
    • Litespeed powered servers will have your blog flying. Also as a Cloudflare Optimised Partner you get to take advantage of CloudFlare’s global CDN including Railgun free of charge.
  • Hourly backups
    • Offsite backups on the hour every hour with with a 12 hour retention policy. They also do nightly backups with a 14 day retention policy meaning you can rest easy knowing your website is in safe hands.
  • Great support
    • They’re always on hand to help you maintain your blog and answer your questions. Simply open a support ticket or drop them a line on live chat.

I’m not the biggest fan of change, but what’s great I still have WordPress which is what I had become used to. With self hosted WordPress it’s the same layout that I am used to, so I don’t have to get used to a new way of writing my blogs.

For anyone looking at going self hosted with their blog I would definitely recommend their service. It took the stress out and I’ve been really happy with everything so far.

Museum trip and good company

On Friday some of the local schools had an inset day and one of the children’s friends asked if she could spend the day with us and be home ed for a day. She arrived at 8am and her and S played whilst we all had breakfast and got ready. The sun was shining so we took Poppy and her friend Max for a walk.

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Daddy is off this week with a sore shoulder and back so he said he would take E out for a spot of boy time. I took the girls and their friend to Salisbury museum as we’ve been meaning to go for a while. For anyone local I would highly recommend it, it was so child friendly. The archaeology room was amazing, so much to look at and wonderfully interactive.

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The museum is much bigger than I thought, we had great fun dressing up, colouring and looking round all the exhibitions. We stayed for about an hour but the wonderful bit is, our tickets are valid for a year so we can go back again and again.

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As a lunchtime treat we headed over to McDonald’s to meet up with the boys. We told them all about our morning and they told us that they had been to Games Workshop to look at all the Warhammer figures, looked around a toy shop, and Daddy had bought E Lego JurrasicA World for the Xbox.

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After lunch the boys went home to play and paint and us girls popped over to Granma’s house for a cuppa and a play.

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Yesterday Aunty A and cousin N came to visit. S and I made some soup for lunch and went to the shop to get some nice crunchy bread. After lunch and some play time we decided to wander down to the local craft fair. It was small but there were lots of lovely bits there from handmade jewellery to breads and cakes to teddies made of socks, if only I’d taken more money with me (although Daddy is probably glad I didn’t!)

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We got the children an ice lolly and I bought myself some plants, then we went outside to play in the park. After a few minutes R came over to say she’d found some old friends and went off to play ball games with them. After a while we walked home leaving R to play for an hour, her friends mum dropped her home when it started raining.

We’ve had a really lovely couple of days with friends and family.